10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

Dates & Tennis Players From BNP Paribas Open 2018 “Coachella Valley Dates”

Photo by @BNPPARIBASOPEN via Twitter



By Craig Cignarelli


The Phoenix dactylifera, commonly known as the date palm, is a flowering plant species cultivated for its fruit. About the size of a shot glass, (maybe thumb) a the date is a sweet, mushy oval with a slightly harder edible exterior and an inner seed. Beneath the palm fronds, the dates grow in clusters.


The BNP Paribas hosts most of the world’s best tennis players. Aside from Rafael Nadal, pretty much everyone is here in the California desert. With the crowd peering through intermittent rain drops as the second round began, the level of tennis skyrocketed. Qualifying rounds saw 110 mph serves and 70mph winners. Today, serves broke 135mph and even average groundstrokes reached 77mph. The site of a 100mph winner is no longer uncommon.


Up until a few years ago, it was rare to see even the best Americans going deep into any draws. Today though, the current crop of youngsters has navigated their way beyond the early rounds, taking out some major competition along the way. Fritz beat Rublev. Vickery took down Muguruza. Krueger eliminates Paire. Escobedo defeats Tiafoe, Collins takes out Keys. Dolehide knocked out Cibulkova. Anisimova destroys Pavlyuchenkova. Some of these kids train together at tennis centers across the US, while others travel with private coaches and maintain their sovereignty. Champions after all, rarely have similar backgrounds.


Still, these kids are not champions yet. Their insides still turn to mush in the biggest moments on the biggest stages, and while these early round wins harden their exterior, they’ve yet to form a shell to protect them from the external forces trying to penetrate their psyches. Inside though, there is a seed of belief which continues to grow, to blossom, and to bear fruit. And now we are seeing this cluster of kids come through.


All around the tournament grounds, the local desert company – Coachella Valley Dates – places dates in plastic containers for the players to consume. Throughout the day, you can see the young ones piling stacks into their bags in pursuit of the sweet fruit in the same way the crowd is attracted to the young stars. Such is the synergy here. And for it, we are all more fulfilled.


Editors note: we hear these are RAFA’s favorite dates. Novak lives munching on dates too on changeovers. We are also DATE lovers. We learned dates have 50 percent more potassium than bananas. And more antioxidants than blueberries. Yes, they are that good…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *